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PlasticFrogCG

Shadowrun Loot...

7 posts in this topic

So, I've been running a campaign for a couple weeks now and realized I've got a bit of a problem. In every new room and after each battle most of the group like to scrounge the room for random loot. Problem is...I really didn't think of any. I have rewards set for the Run, but aside from the few odd Nuyen or ammo what would be some good items to throw in that could be usable or fenced off?

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Shadowrun really isn't a loot based game, armor and guns are what they are and usually players have what they want (unless it's some expensive $50,000+ sniper rifle that a normal person they are looting wouldn't have anyway). If they are spending time looting every body while on a job that seems extremely unprofessional and likely to get them into trouble in a lot of ways. If they have killed in or are in a place worth looting I can think of so many things that could go wrong with that, such as, the place going on alert from them wasting time, more people showing up, people trying to check in with the people they killed, hurting their reputation if people find out that they are wasting time and making jobs more risky, whatever items they take being traceable through stealth tags (if it is worth taking, they probably are), whatever items they take working only for the assigned user/group, the item exploding when they try to use it because of the last reason, them not being able to carry tons of looted equipment (and if they can carry it weight wise then where are they putting it). If they are looting credsticks they would likely need a contact to launder the money. If they are in some low level fight against some gang member, taking their guns just to sell to someone for extra money makes sense but if they are looting security or corporate I'd probably make them pay for it, unless they do something smart like this.

 

Link

In most of the games I run or have played, looting seems isn't systematic like DnD, but mostly happens in low risk situations or when it is a high value loot.

 

No one is looting the tagged and back corp assault rifles from a run, but sometimes the SMG from the mouthy ganger. No one bothers with the cyberware from a HRT dude, but 130 kilos of delta ware out of a cyberzombie...

 

One of the most effective looters I played with took the comlink off of just about everyone in his path. He would dump them in a Faraday cage briefcase. After the run he would take them to a wireless proofed room and go over them with computer forensics software and get every piece of data off of them and sell it back or to his myriad contact list of data brokers, SIN forgers, spammers, and pirates. Or for blackmail. Then he would wipe them clean and load them up with pirated hacking programs (script kiddies dream), games, movies and a hacking agent and slap a secret back door into it and add it to his bot net then turns it off. Then, this is the genius part, drops them off around where teenagers hang out. If it's turned back and joins the bot net, he has a mischievous person who has no qualms about stealing an unattended comlink. He copy's whatever info they put onto it and sells it. If the logs show them doing a little hacking he sends them anonymous tips about targets then shadows them as they try to hack it to record the defenses. Diabolical man. So, loot with a plan.

 

I moved the thread to the right section

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That is actually exactly what I was thinking. The problem is many of my group are either inexperienced with Shadowrun and/or have played way too many video games where looting is just something you automatically do. Guess I just need to put my GM foot down and tell them it isn't that kind of game unless I want them to find something.

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I assume they looked through the equipment sections while making their characters, what kind of things are they expecting people to have on them?

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When I had a group that did that, I gently reminded them that it's not a great idea to start looting every body and container in a highly-guarded Ares facility by having a pair of guards wander in on them while they were doing so. When they didn't get the hint, I did it twice more, increasing the number of guards each time, until finally on the second run the corp got wise and put small amounts of explosive in all of the valuable electronics. As they're leaving the facility lugging the tons of loot they got off the guards, I suddenly started rolling all the dice we had before informing them that they had collected ten pounds of plastic explosive in each of their bags and the corp had set it all off. The only survivor was the troll street samurai, everyone else had to reroll characters. 

Little dickish of me? Maybe, but so is the world of shadowrun. Served a double lesson for them. And to make up for it I let them roll higher-level characters. 

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To be honest I didn't help things at all by throwing them into a standard "prison start" ala Oblivion/Skyrim/pick your RPG. I gave them a drop point, gassed everybody, and had them start with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The idea was to toy with the idea of having to slowly recover their gear as they avoided cannibalistic Mole People, force them to be smart about the type of character they were playing. Unfortunately the whole thing backfired on me when one team had their decker and sniper sit back out of the play area and ended up going in to rescue everyone else, opening up paths I had planned to use as the exit. I then gave them back 90% of their gear next session from an "armory" hoping this would push them to go kill the "dungeon boss" and get them back on track for the "real" campaign. We have been having a lot of fun, but things really aren't playing out at all like I expected. Time to lasso them all in.

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To be honest I didn't help things at all by throwing them into a standard "prison start" ala Oblivion/Skyrim/pick your RPG. I gave them a drop point, gassed everybody, and had them start with nothing but the clothes on their backs. The idea was to toy with the idea of having to slowly recover their gear as they avoided cannibalistic Mole People, force them to be smart about the type of character they were playing. Unfortunately the whole thing backfired on me when one team had their decker and sniper sit back out of the play area and ended up going in to rescue everyone else, opening up paths I had planned to use as the exit. I then gave them back 90% of their gear next session from an "armory" hoping this would push them to go kill the "dungeon boss" and get them back on track for the "real" campaign. We have been having a lot of fun, but things really aren't playing out at all like I expected. Time to lasso them all in.

Well, see, this is the thing. The game isn't your show, it's the player's show. It's not necessarily about the story you want to tell, although it's easy to get excited about that, but if you're railroading your players too much they'll get bored. This first mission you'll need to railroad them, but you also need to let them go at it the way they want. The story I gave you above I only did because these were guys coming from DnD to Shadowrun that hadn't quite gotten into the mentality of "Everything wants to kill you so you need to watch your ass" yet. 

And then I'm gonna feel really dumb if you tell me that you do intend to just railroad them for the first mission then give them more freedom. 

Anyway, baisically, when you're GMing, think of games like Prototype, that give you really loose objectives (Most of the time) then leave it up to you how to get there or even whether you want to do that. I'm not gonna lie, there will be times that you'll have an entire dungeon set up for a session with a epic story and badass boss fight, but your players are just like "You know, today could we just do some day-to-day stuff for our runners? I wanna do some character building." 

It's your job to decide if you're gonna be That GM and tell them no, they're gonna do it your way, or to just quietly set that run aside for another session and let your players have fun. Remember, your players know best what they want to do, and if they're not doing what they want to do, they'll get bored. Little things like looting every corpse? It's OK to pull your GM weight there, let them know gently that that's not practical and will get them in trouble. Just gotta get a handle on how much authority you can have over your players before you're making things unfun. 

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